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US Embassy Warns France Visitors to Avoid Yellow Vests Riots

© REUTERS / Stephane MaheProtesters wearing yellow vests attend a demonstration of the "yellow vests" movement in Nantes, France, December 22, 2018
Protesters wearing yellow vests attend a demonstration of the yellow vests movement in Nantes, France, December 22, 2018 - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Americans and other foreigners are being warned to avoid yellow-vest protests in cities throughout France on Saturday because past demonstrations have turned violent, according to an alert from the US Embassy in Paris on Thursday.

"Saturday demonstrations by the 'Gilets Jaunes' (yellow vests) are expected to continue," the alert said. Previous demonstrations have become violent with police response including water cannons and/or tear gas."

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In addition to demonstrations in major cities, organizers are calling for traffic interruptions and blockades throughout France, the release said. At highway toll stations, protesters have previously set up barricades and set fire to pallets.

The alert urged foreigners to avoid demonstrations, to shelter in place when near protests and to maintain easy access to passports, medicine, infant formula and chargers for electronic devices such as mobile phones.

The wave of the so-called Yellow Vests rallies — named after the obligatory attribute of French cars — started in mid-November. While the French government has scrapped its planned hike in diesel taxes, which is what initially sparked the protests, the yellow vests have evolved into a broader movement against government policies and rising living costs. The rallies have been marked by violent clashes between protesters and the police.

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